PRINT December 2014

Briony Fer

View of “Gego: Line as Object,” 2014, Henry Moore Institute. Foreground: Esfera Nº 5 (Sphere No. 5), 1977. Background, from left: Esfera Nº 7 (Sphere No. 7), 1977; Siete icosidodecaedros (Seven Icosidodecahedrons), ca. 1977; Esfera Nº 8 (Sphere No. 8), 1977. Photo: Jerry Hardman-Jones. © Fundación Gego.

WHAT DOES SCULPTURE BECOME when it is suspended in space, containing nothing but air? What does drawing become without paper to provide its surface? The work that the German-born artist Gego (who emigrated to Venezuela in 1939) made in Caracas from the late 1950s through the early ’90s continues to prompt such fundamental questions about the status of postwar art. It shows us what is left of the art object when you have taken away precisely that which conventionally defined or supported it: whether mass from sculpture or ground from drawing. The little that remains has the surprising capacity to hold a space, even a very large one. “Gego: Line as Object,” which began at the Kunsthalle Hamburg (in a revelatory juxtaposition with a concurrent show of work by Eva Hesse), traveled to the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany, and then came to the Henry Moore Institute this July, made a

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